By Henry D Gombya
Two Ugandan women who fled the country and sought asylum in the United Kingdom, have appealed to British Prime Minister David Cameron to ‘listen to us and give us justice’.
Jalia Nakiyaga, 26, from Kampala and Adella Ashabomwe, 32, from Bushenyi in Western Uganda are presently in secure accommodation in Doncaster, England after their asylum applications were turned down by the Home Office. The two met at Yarlswood detention centre in Bedford after being arrested separately in London.
In an exclusive interview with The LEP, both girls admitted they left Uganda after their friends and relatives found out about their sexual behaviour. Both had never met before but were in a relation with other girls. They are now an item and have been since they met in Yarlswood in December 2010. According to a recent survey, Uganda remains one of the most homophobic countries in Africa with 95 per cent of the population disapproving of gays and lesbians.
After attending the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Summit (CHOGM) in Perth last year, Mr Cameron said he had raised the issue of gay rights during the CHOGM and added that those countries receiving British Aid should respect gay rights.
During the interview, Jalia and Adella spoke of their frustration at the way the Home Office has treated their asylum application. Jalia said officials from the home office had asked her why she fled to the United Kingdom and not to Gulu in Northern Uganda to escape those uncomfortable with her behaviour. Information we have from Gulu and most part of Uganda is that homosexuality is equally detested in almost every part of Uganda. A person who has lived in Kampala would therefore find it almost impossible to flee to Gulu to escape homophobia.
In Interviews with the UK Border Agency, Jalia and Adella claim they have been asked to prove they are gay. “How do they want us to prove this?” asked Adella. “Do they want us to do it in front of their eyes so they can prove we are lesbians?” she wondered.
Adella went on to say she fled from Uganda because she believed she would find peace in England where there is no law against being gay. “Since we were arrested, I have asked myself several times why God had not made me differently. I left my country believing I would receive help here. Look where I have ended up, living with people of all walks of life, sharing with them smelly accommodation,” she tearfully said.
She went on to add that one of the most stressful things she has had to face was not knowing whether she would walk into the benefit office and not find herself on a coach to the airport to be returned to Uganda. This happened to Jalia who the Home Office tried to send back to Uganda after her application was refused. She was saved from deportation at the last minute when her lawyers received a stay of execution for her deportation. Both women say their lives would be in danger if they were to be returned to Uganda.